Personnel: Tony Joe White (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Rachel Jordan, Elizabeth Plju, Amy L. Thiaville, Bill Schultz (strings); Garson Whitsett (keyboards); Michelle White (Yamaha DX7 synthesizer); Eric Watkins (bass); Marc Cohen (drums); Luis Conte (percussion); Chet Hinesley.
Recorded at Studio In The Country, Bogalusa, Louisiana.
Personnel: Tony Joe White (guitar, harmonica); Rachel Jordan, Bill Schultz (strings); Carson Whitsett (keyboards); Eric Watkins (bass guitar); Mark Cohen (drums); Luis Conte (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge.
Recording information: Studio In The Country, Bougalusa, LA.
Unknown Contributor Role: Chet Hinesley.
Widely credited as the inventor of the swamp-rock style, Tony Joe White spent most of the '80s and '90s writing songs for other artists-including Tina Turner. Naturally, he's a cult figure in France. ONE HOT JULY marks the first new material White has released Stateside in nearly a decade.
The album is a remarkable return to form, thoroughly of a piece with White's earlier recordings. If anything, JULY is even richer and more evocative. His sepulchral vocals have darkened and deepened with the years-if White sounded like a bluesman on his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie," he now sounds like a really scary bluesman. His guitar work remains the music's focus, with sinuous, Mark Knopfler-style finger picking layered over great, funky rhythm parts. White plays both acoustic and electric instruments, and he still gets more out of a wah-wah pedal than anybody this side of Jimi Hendrix. And he's still writing sinister-sounding, mid-tempo blues love songs ("Crack the Window Baby", "Cold Fingers"). A semi-rockabilly tribute to a beloved car ("I Want My Fleetwood Back"), the folksy, string-laden title track, and "Selena," a poignant farewell to the murdered Tejano star, make for memorable exceptions.
Dirty Linen (4-5/99, pp.74-5) - "...White's husky croak of a voice is perfect for these loping late-night excursions..."
Living Blues (11-12/01, p.83) - "...Thought-provoking and deeply emotional..."
Mojo (Publisher) (2/99, p.96) - "...he rolls through yet more songs about cars, witchy woman and sinister black crows that sit on telegraph poles..."